Not bad… for a girl

By Teamspirit on Friday, 26 June 2015

Why female Creative Directors are so good for business

Ok so let’s start with a joke: Why is the ‘3% Conference’ called the ‘3% Conference’? Alarmingly, it’s because when it was founded in 2012 by the pioneering Kat Gordon, just 3% of Creative Directors were women (and if that’s not a joke, I don’t know what is). This figure has now risen… but only to a weaselling 11% and many of this number are still paid comparatively less than men. I found this out at their conference in London last week and as a female CD myself, I was curious to know what’s going on. My shocking discovery was that this hair-brained hiring habit is costing the UK millions of pounds worth of business a year. And here’s why.

85% of all brand purchases are made by women
Yet so few communications are made by women or for women, and only 11% of us are overseeing the work that goes out to the estimated 63m people in the UK (around half of whom are female).

No wonder 71% of women asked recently said they feel brands only consider them for beauty and cleaning products, and that 73% feel that advertisers don’t understand them at all. In the financial sector, this is probably turbocharged. Remember the last time you saw all-female investment ads? Me neither. But I can recall plenty that only feature men.

Similarly, 69% of social networking site users are women (and we are renowned for being partial to a chat). So why don’t brands look to us first to help disseminate their benefits? We can influence other women and men in a way that men alone simply can’t.

This is not a gender problem. It’s a business problem
Kat Gordon says, “The truth is that women are the superset, not the subset, and the rate at which women are amassing wealth and exerting influence is unprecedented. Yet the work that is supposed to motivate them springs almost entirely from a male perspective. The advertising business is a $33 billion industry.”
Misunderstanding female consumers, from a business perspective, is sheer lunacy
Kat also says that the more varied the people are who come up with ideas, the more varied the ideas will be. And since women control the majority of consumer spending and social sharing, it only makes sense to involve them in the creative process.

And I’m proud to say our agency does. The comms side of our agency has a female CEO, MD and CD (me) alongside a male ECD and fellow CD – and I genuinely think this makes a difference. Between us, our work can be rational, emotive, intuitive and informed. There is more than one perspective which allows us to give a more rounded solution for clients and customers alike. And I thought of that bit all by myself. Not bad for a girl, eh?

-Penny Parnell

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